A founding slot holder of The Everest, The Star has recently reinstated its commitment to a race that has changed the racing landscape. Their new contract will take them to 2021 together with a new partner, the breeding powerhouse – Arrowfield.
Matt Bekier, CEO and Managing Director of The Star Entertainment Group has said that The Star holds It’s association with The Everest in high esteem and was thrilled to team up with Arrowfield in a search for victory.
“We bring complementary skills to our partnership, the race is an irresistible challenge for both of us, and we look forward to contesting it together,” he said, “It highlights our commitment to making Sydney a must-visit location for domestic and international guests.”
Nicholas Santucci, the head of business development for Star Entertainment, is once again at the helm of delivery for this much-anticipated event at The Star. Santucci talks to Everest Diaries about continuing tradition yet elevating entertainment at one of the world's most iconic racedays to celebrate its first lustrum.
Q: What are your deciding factors when choosing your Everest contender?
A: As The Everest is a lightning-quick race, there is only ever a small field of contenders who can win it each year. Ultimately, recent form dictates the selections, however, we also look at section times. From there, we can narrow it down, and make a selection around a month out from the race.
Q: The Everest has already completed its first half-decade, according to you, what is the most exciting thing for you about Everest 2021?
A: The Everest has shown that it can grow its popularity year on year. It’s quickly developed a reputation as one of the most anticipated Spring meets among Sydney’s racegoers and the general public, as well as for those in the industry – everyone wants to be involved in the world’s richest race on turf.
Looking ahead to this year’s race, it will provide a great lift to the city following an unexpected and extended lockdown period due to COVID-19.
The Autumn Carnival is an important event to Sydneysiders, who are eager to go out and celebrate.
Q: What does The Star have in mind for its clients, supporters and staff over Everest week?
A: Like previous years, The Star will aim to deliver the thrill of owning a racehorse to guests who join us for The Everest.
Restrictions resulting from the pandemic have dampened planning for events and activations across the property, however, we’ll continue to ensure those that do join us at our bars and restaurants, have plenty to enjoy.
Q: What is your earliest racing memory?
A: Watching the Melbourne Cup in primary school - Empire Rose, whom I had drawn in our classroom sweeps won!
Q: Which is your favourite racehorse and racecourse of all time? Why?
A: It sounds cliché but it has to be Winx. She was great to watch she would so often sit back in the field and take her time to move, a number of times you could sense she was done for and her amazing winning streak would be over, she would come rocketing home and leave the crowds cheering, it was great racing and the fans really got behind her.
Q: If you weren’t in the hospitality and entertainment industry, what would you do?
A: Professional Polo Player
Q: What are you currently reading?
A: The Great Divorce by CS Lewis